2021 College World Series: The Greatest Show on Dirt - 6/18/2021

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*For today's College World Series releases please access the 'College World Series' tab at the top of this webpage

6-18 2:15pm PT

2021 College World Series

Welcome back to Omaha, NE. 2021 CWS baseball fans.

There was no CWS event in 2020 so I’ll regard the teams that were in Omaha two years ago (Vanderbilt and MSU) as holding advantage coming into this tournament just as if they had been in Omaha last year. Recent experience in Omaha contributes greatly to success for teams that understand how to address the climate, they nuance of the ballpark and especially the many media, hospital and periphery distractions that have to be managed manage far better than those who this is new to.

The ballpark his huge, cavernous and sets up for teams that hit for average, hit doubles, triples, play small ball, have strong pitching staffs and defend. Home Runs or the reliance on them is a detriment for teams in this tourney not an advantage.

Last week I released Vanderbilt 6/1, Texas 6/1, Virginia 22/1 and Texas Tech 13/1. Texas Tech got smashed by a strong Stanford team so while I hold advantage with the three teams involved with the tourney, I do start off with a negative 1-unit balance.

Brackets

There are two brackets, so the winner in each competes in a best of three series to crown a champion. It’s advantageous to understand the brackets, then the schools within them in order to determine which team(s) have the best chance to win their way to the final series.

The key to this tourney is simple. Win the first two games then your team is catapulted into Friday baseball where your pitcher’s arms are fresh and your team is itching to get back onto the diamond. For teams that do not win the first two games the path to the final series is laden with depth issues for pitchers, bullpens and team mentality are worn thin just to arrive to the final three game series.

Here’s how I view each team and their chances in this outstanding baseball Tournament.

Bracket I

North Carolina State 14/1

The Wolfpack got here by upsetting the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team that had experienced a record setting regular season and was primed after a 21-2 victory in game one to arrive in Omaha to accept their coronation. The problem was that the Wolfpack, a team playing with great second half momentum never quit and took the next two games from Arkansas and now land in Omaha. While the have momentum, I wonder if getting to Omaha was the emotional goal of this ball club. They’ll say they’re here to win and I don’t doubt them but I believe their draw (game one is Stanford) and bracket make it unlikely the Wolfpack are a deep threat in 2021. The Wolfpack lead the tourney in fielding but they sport the highest ERA in the tourney at 5.12 so look for runs in games with the Wolfpack.

Longshot

Stanford 8/1

Stanford’s message is not to be found in statistical analysis for they’re really not a top five team in any of the categories I track for the CWS outside of fielding which is big. What they do bring to this tournament is the momentum gained from going into Lubbock, Texas and dominating an eight ranked Texas Tech team that had been to Omaha in 2019 and was poised to get there again.

Stanford Coach Dave Esquer played for the 1987 Stanford national championship team under coach Marquess so while they have no recent CWS experience, Esquer will be able to channel his group of intellects and over achievers into delivering their best effort on the diamond. They face NC St. in their first game and are a -140 favorite with ace Brendan Beck on the hill.  

Stanford is worth considering.

Arizona 10/1

Arizona won this tourney in 2012 and were runners up in 2016. They lead the nation in slugging, batting average, on base percentage, doubles and triples. Arizona plays on a field that prepares them well for the type of baseball played in the CWS which is why they do oh so well in Omaha when they attend. It’s my judgement that Arizona’s odds are out of whack as I handicap this team to be more a 6/1 contender. Affecting the odds is the fact that they draw tourney favorite Vanderbilt in game one with ace Kumar Rocker hurling against them in what will be an absolute classic clash of styles. Hurler vs. hitter.

The premium in this tourney is winning the first game then the second and no one knows this better than the Vanderbilt Commodores. Arizona’s odds in game one lead me to believe that the Wildcats are going to be up to challenging the defending champions.

Currently in game I Arizona +150 is underdog to Vandy. I’ll use Arizona gm 1 as a release but wait until game time as their odds ontinue to increseoff the +110 opening line.

I feel Arizona is a mispriced team in this tourney as evidenced by the fact that they finished ahead of Stanford in the Conference as well the key categories I track yet they’re higher priced in the futures market than the Cardinal! Should the Wildcats get by 2019 champion Vanderbilt Saturday…watch out!

Arizona 10/1

Vanderbilt +265

Vandy’s first draw in this tourney Arizona, is the offensive juggernaut of the event. Vandy arrives as an elite pitching/defensive team. Led by future professional pitchers Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt has Omaha experience, they have two professional pitchers on their team with a depth of pitching and they are a complete ball club. Vanderbilt knows how to manage this tourney and they should be the outright favorite to win.

That said, the CWS tournament has a history of humbling ace pitchers and that did NOT happen to Rocker two years ago as a freshman for he dominated this tourney. What was an easy tournament experience as a frosh may not be so easy to replicate as a junior. This will be a fantastic first ballgame for I can assure you the Arizona ballclub is salivating to test their offense against today’s top college pitcher.

Bracket II

Virginia 18/1

Virginia is team that got hot late and earned their way to Omaha by defeating Dallas Baptist. The Cavaliers had a relatively efficient path to Omaha this year and had to get past DBU with a late grand slam in their rubber game to accomplish it. The Cav’s biggest advantage will be that Coach Brian O’Connor played ball at Creighton University in Omaha and was on their CWS team back in the day. Virginia will have a solid Ace hurler, a team that plays excellent defense and can execute small ball tactics to a ‘T’. To top it off,  because O’Connor is from Omaha and his parents still live here, the Cavaliers will absolutely have the crowd behind them. I’m not sure the local fans will be enough to propel Virginia into the final series but with a 22/1 ticket on them I’ll watch and see. One ace hurler, strong team defense and average offensive capability earn Virginia longshot status

Tennessee 5/1

The Vols arrive in Omaha! Omaha! With a stacked baseball team. Though they have not been to this event in years the team is in the top half of the field in team ERA, WHIP, Feilding and on base percentage. While the Vols draw on paper looks manageable it must be understood that every one of the fans in that stadium shy of the handful of Vol faithful in attendance will be pulling for O’Connor’s Cav’s. I believe that Tennessee may be ripe in game one but they’re a solid group.

Mississippi State 8/1

This Bulldog bunch has been in Omaha for the past three events. While it’s been under varying coaches the point is that this SEC powerhouse comes prepared and they understand how to play in this stadium as well how to act during the event. MSU’s probably the most well-rounded team in the event and I believe they’re poised to take it deep this year. In their season opener, MSU defeated their Sunday opponent, the Texas Longhorns 8-3 in Arlington. MSU, a team that is 41-1 when leading after eight innings will be an underdog in that game and if they can best the Longhorns in game one Sunday evening, they’ll be a real threat.

MSU 8/1

Texas 3/1

This Texas bunch looks much like the perennial championship teams that Gustafson and Garrido brought to Omaha. The ‘horns have earned six championships in Omaha and have not attended this event since 2018. The Longhorns will not fan favorites by any stretch based on their success over the Nebraska Cornhuskers coupled by the fact that the fans dislike teams coming in and dominating play like Texas has done on so many occasions in this CWS.

Texas has three ace hurlers; they lead the statistical categories (or are in second) of all the categories I track. If they can squeeze by MSU in game one they’re poised to have fresh, deep pitching arms late into this tournament which will give them every opportunity to lift the championship trophy.

Texas is a player.

In summary, here are the tourney wagers I recommend:

MSU 8/1

Arizona 10/1

Game I Saturday Arizona +150 or better vs. Vanderbilt....wait as this priceis rising.

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 263 Adesanya vs. Vettori: No glory for Vettori - 6/12/2021

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UFC 263 hits today and the card is stacked, the opportunities are many and the fights will be outstanding. As is the case with each fight card, I strive to assemble a set of wagers that over the course of the evening are designed to provide bottom line. At times like last week we appear dominant yet there are other weeks where it may appear I just started handicapping. Overall a 3-2 or even 2-3 day may produce profit so let's map out today's plan for profit.

The goal is to have gained some insight into these athletes from my access to the event this week. Here’s what I have.   

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

Originally published 6-9-21 VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’

This week’s UFC 263 will take place in Glendale, AZ. Profitability efforts this week may be enhanced by the fact that the fine folks at the UFC have awarded me press access so I may talk to the athlete’s firsthand this week as opposed to having to access their thoughts through the standard media channels. I’ll be able to take in the weigh-ins in person which is vastly more insightful as periphery activities can also offer insight into a fighter and/or their camp.

This week’s UFC 263 final releases will be completed Friday night or Saturday early morning. They’ll then be delivered to the outstanding editors of ‘Point Spread Weekly’ for publication to readers.

Last week saw Santiago Ponzinibbio +100 win by unanimous decision (+150) earning readers 2.5 units. He actually closed a +140 underdog so hopefully most were patient and benefited. Jair Rozenstruik knocked out Augusto Sakai late in round one which earned another unit of profit.

To date Insight the Octagon: 16-9 +8.45 units

Champion Israel Adesanya -240 vs. Marvin Vettori +200 Middleweight(185lbs.) title fight

This is a rematch of a bout that occurred in April 2018 where Adesanya, then in his second UFC fight beat Vettori via split decision. That was a very competitive three round fight, one in which Vettori began to successfully take Adesanya down and display some control late in that bout.

Vettori, currently ranked third in the division has won five straight bouts leading into this championship tussle. His opponents while worthy are not to be mistaken with elite middleweight talent however. While Vettori is a better version of himself today then then, I am not convinced that he’s improved or added any real offensive/defensive dimension to his game since that bout.

Vettori is nicknamed ‘Angry Marvin’ appropriately as he brings an aggressive, bar-room brawling stand up style to his fights. His footwork and movement are choppy thus forcing him to rely on his power and belligerent forward pressure as opposed to any fluidity of movement or defensive evasiveness.

Vettori’s wrestling and grappling seem to the key to this fight from my perspective for I cannot envision a five round stand-up fight between these two where Vettori would have any chance at success.

Vettori must pressure Adesanya, press him backwards and force him expend energy so that dragging him to the floor is easier to accomplish. Vettori will/should mimic the Jan Blachowicz plan of wrestling control against Adesanya. This is first and foremost in his approach, from the ground Vettori will try and reign damage on Issy from top position.

Adesanya enters this fight off the loss to Blachowicz which in my handicapping is an advantage for him. While Vettori is the most ‘Blachowicz-type’ styled fighter in the middleweight division he will in no way be as large, heavy or strong as Blachowicz was in that last bout. Therefore, Vettori will offer little in pressure, size or physicality that Adesanya has not already dealt with in that Blachowicz bout.  

Adesanya has realized a 7-1 tally since the Vettori bout and though he’s off that loss, his middleweight wins were against the absolute elite of the division then and now. Adesanya over the course of time has refined his precision striking and deft movement with more power and the realization that he must address his take down defense. It’s my take that Issy’s last bout against Blachowicz ends up being most helpful in preparing Adesanya for the style of fight that Vettori is going to levy on him.

If this fight stays standing Adesanya will paint ‘Angry Marvin’s’ fence black and blue. If Vettori can manage to grind on Adesanya and force him to expend energy fighting off the wrestling pressure then Vettori has a chance in this fight. 

I handicap a class difference between these two athletes’ and have a difficult time believing Vettori has anything other than a ‘Sunday punch’ chance to earn this title.

Adesanya -240

Use as leg II of the open-ended parlay with Jack Hermannson -155: pays +1.33 

Total in this fight: 4.5 Over -140

Champion Deiveson Figueiredo -240 vs. Brandon Moreno +200 Flyweight (125lbs.) title fight

This is a rematch of a December 2020 fight where Moreno was on his way to clear advantage in the fight when Figueiredo landed a flush ‘south of the border shot’ that was so bad that Moreno was dry heaving in the octagon.

That low blow in my judgement allowed Figueiredo time to recover and it was that recovery time that enabled him to overcome the deduction in points he incurred from that action to save his title by the draw decision.

Figueiredo, a black belt in BJJ is a huge man for the division and even larger come the night of the bout. Figueiredo is lightning fast, sick aggressive and profusely powerful. Fists, elbows, knees and head kicks are all available weapons and in this bout one can count on him attempting to use all of that weaponry to finish Moreno. On the feet or on the floor Figueiredo is equip to destroy.

Moreno won’t sneak up on Figueiredo this Saturday and for the record I don’t think he surprised Figueiredo in that first bout, I think he surprised those in the MMA world that were unaware of Moreno’s abilities.

Figueiredo knows he’s in for an all-out war Saturday and for this handicapper, how he’s balanced being champion against preparing for this rematch the last six months are the key to this outcome for any lack of focus during training or night of the fight for Figueiredo may prove costly.

Moreno is the taller fighter by two inches, he’s six years younger than the Champ and he’ll own a two-inch arm reach advantage. Figueiredo has fought ten times since 2017 and in all but one of those match-ups, he’s been the taller, longer, larger fighter. Moreno’s physical attributes coupled with his style of fighting put him in position to again challenge Figueiredo and take him deep into this bout to test his heart and more importantly…his conditioning.

Moreno, a Mexican fighter is an accumulation striker who damages opponents over the course of time with high pace and striking volume. He does not have Figueiredo’s power but he is athletic, well-rounded and he’s been in the octagon with the top flyweight fighters in the world. On top of that the kid’s a complete nut. It’s my take that most fighters are a little ‘off’ but in Moreno’s case he has the look of a guy that may not care if you crack him on the noggin or not! This makes him mighty dangerous.

The weigh-ins for this bout are critical for Figueiredo has had trouble on the scale. I’m looking for any hint of that Friday when I watch these men hit the scales.

If Figueiredo makes weight easily then I’ll be forced to handicap this bout knowing that I give Moreno every chance in the world to defeat the champion albeit a champion fully prepared to defend his title which is daunting.

If Figueiredo struggles before or while he’s on the scale then I’ll use that information immediately in order to try to gain every advantage on Moreno. I do suspect that Figueiredo’s fight preparation may well have been interrupted once or twice by ‘championship’ distractions during these last six months while I know that all Moreno has done since these two last fought is work to become the first UFC champion of Mexico.

One last note. This fight is in the heart of the Sonoran Desert where the population is comprised of a high number of Hispanic Americans. They’ll all be in attendance Saturday passionately supporting Moreno the fighter from just one hundred plus miles south of Phoenix.

Moreno +200  pending weigh-ins of course!

Total for this fight: 4.5Rds. Under -130

Weigh-ins may also have input on how I handicap this total.

Dober -145 vs. Riddell +125 Lightweight (155lbs.)

One word for this fight and it’s WAR.

Riddell’s a striking coach at City Kickboxing in New Zealand. He’s fast, precise and a lethal striker/kicker. He’s also under appreciated in my opinion. He takes on Drew Dober who fights with Justin Gaethje at Team Elevation in Denver. Dober is no stranger to stand up striking as well he has a decent wrestling base which will allow him to hold advantage over Riddell should Dober decide to take this fight to the ground for an easier path to victory.

If Riddell can keep this bout standing, I not only feel he’ll have some advantage over Dober, I believe he’ll beat him.

Patience as this price is steadily rising…

Total for this fight: 2.5Rds. Over 150

Enjoy the fights and Thank You for reading

updated 6-12 7:22am PM

Adesanya -250 vs. Vettori +205

My impressions on this bout are reinforced by what I saw this week. Vettori is a brooding, focused, highly intense person who is terse and emotional. Adesanya is loose and exchanges with any who approach him. I bumped into each; while Vettori was cordial he was tight, Adesanya was an engaging articulate fun young man. To me each man’s demeanor seems metaphoric for this bout.

Figueiredo -185 vs. Moreno +165

Moreno is as loose as is Adesanya and he’s surprised at the overwhelming support he’s getting from the people who dwell in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, a location laced with proud Latino fight fans all of whom are here to watch this kid be the first fighter of Mexican heritage to win a UFC belt. Figueiredo seems to me to be cracking a bit. Between his shove of Moreno which Moreno immediately converted to his own favor to the struggle to make the scale Figueiredo is making it difficult for himself. I hit twitter with a Moreno release after the shove and though the price is now less, I believe Moreno walks with this title today…. perhaps even ITD.

Moreno +200

Moreno ITD +550 .25u

Hill -260 vs. Craig +230

Hill is a large imposing man who has a chip on his shoulder with Craig and wants to dominate the Scot with strikes early in this fight. He’s a striker decorated with a blue belt in BJJ but he must keep this fight on the feet or he’ll be out of his element.

Craig is poking this hungry lion with a stick in one hand and a steak in the other. Craig either knows exactly what he is doing by goading this aggressive brawler or he’s ensuring that he’s about to see Hill’s best effort. I think the Scot’s plan may work.

Craig +230 (half)

-or-

Craig via Submission +500 (half)

I'm using via submission

Dober -145 vs. Riddell +125

Dober comes from Elevation in Colorado and trains with Gaethje. He also has the same fight philosophy as Gaethje which is to forget wrestling and put on a show for the fans. In this fight taking on a striker like Riddell at his strength will surely provide us a show but I doubt it produced a win for Dober.

Riddell +125

Anders -145 vs. Stewart +125

Rematch of a March ‘no contest’ fight that was fought at Middleweight (185lbs.). Stewart asked for and Anders agreed to this bout being at the higher light heavyweight class. I am vexed at why Anders would agree to this yet in his defense, he believes he carries more power at this weight. Stewart’s future career path is based on showing us that he is in fact a different fighter at 205 than 185 and based on what I saw/heard from each athlete this week I feel Stewart is poised to offer us his absolute best today.

Stewart +125

Calderwood -120 vs. Murphy +110

JoJo is the more fluid moving, precision-based striker who should own advantage when this fight is at distance. Murphy is the ‘bob and weave’ forward pressing, clinch fighter who will want this engagement to be up close and very personal. Murphy’s ultimate advantage is the floor and Calderwood must not allow the fight to get there. Women’s flyweight fight….

Murphy via decision +200 (half)

Evloev -235 vs. Dawado +210

Earlier this week I thought Dawado was poised to really compete with this Russian vice grip however between the weigh-ins and fighter stare downs I have shucked Dawado as an official release. He seems overly emotional and tight.

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC Vegas28 Rozenstruik vs. Sakai: 'Struik a blow - 6/5/2021

For NHL Stanley Cup Playoff releases please access the 'Hockey" tab at the top of this webpage

UFC Vegas 28 today is a fight card much maligned but there are some outstanding matchups to be viewed/wagered upon. When the organization offer 12-15 match-ups weekly of athlete’s qualified enough to be competing in the octagon, it’s my job to disclose to readers which fights based on my handicapping provide betting opportunity and why.

As is usual my VSiN ‘Point Spread Weekly’ article is below followed by today’s final comments and releases.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 6-2-21--

UFC Las Vegas 28 is a scheduled fourteen fight slate featuring athlete’s ranging in size from woman’s flyweight (125lbs.) to men’s heavyweight (265lbs.). Fighters from seventeen different countries with varying mixed martial arts weaponry will converge on Las Vegas with the single point of focus being advancing their careers. Overall, this card offers several bettable fights though there appears to be a bout or two where the intention seems to be to ‘weed out’ older more experienced talent on the roster. We’ll see if that is in fact what transpires.

Two weeks ago, we won a unit with Rob Font’s one-sided victory over Cody Garbrandt but lost 1.2u when Carla Esparza completely dominated Yan Xioanan. Jack Hermannson -155 also won as the first let of a parlay which will be used in an upcoming column.

2021 Insight the Octagon: 13-9 +4.95u*

*pending Hermannson -155 parlay

Jair Rozenstruik -120 vs. Augusto Sakai +100 Heavyweight (265lbs.) main event

Rozenstruik enters this bout sixth ranked in the division after only being in the UFC for three years. In that time, he’s been impressive by beating competent adversaries and losing only to third ranked Cyril Gane and current champion Francis N’Gannou.

Rozenstruik is a calibrated, precision-based kickboxer who is fast, has abundant power and is aggressive and unafraid to engage. His championship kickboxing pedigree earned prior to becoming a mixed martial artist is forceful proof that this undersized heavyweight is a most dangerous and driven competitor.

Where Rozenstruik can potentially be exposed is on the ground where he has had to show little wrestling, grappling or BJJ capability. That said, in each defeat he was out struck by more capable, powerful strikers and has failed to have to utilize any form of take down defense based on the opponents he’s faced. I’m wondering if that may change this week.

In that Gane fight, Rozenstruik was so overly cautious about the Gane power that he stood almost motionless without action for most of the fight. I believe he has nightmares about that listless last effort and it’s probable that he comes out more forceful in this bout.

Sakai, a Brazilian with Japanese heritage does not possess the athleticism, quickness or precision based striking acumen that his opponent does. What the ninth ranked heavyweight does possess however is height, size and age advantage which translate into Sakai being the far more powerful puncher but one that because of his lumpy physique tired against Overeem when the fight got beyond three rounds. 

It was N’Gannou’s/Gane’s power striking that thwarted Rozenstruik in previous bouts so the plan for Sakai will be to pressure the lighter more mobile kickboxer backwards and force him into the corner where Sakai may unleash fists, elbows and knees.

Sakai, a blue belt in BJJ has not used his grappling to date and it seems to me that with his size and this being a five round bout that it may be a good idea to maul the Surinamese fighter to the floor and from top position reign a little damage upon him. Whether Sakai can execute this or even tries will be interesting to see.

Sakai will need to address a faster more mobile opponent that will attempt to avoid his power, by wearing him down with movement then blister him with strikes from all angles when the giant slows. I believe Rozenstruik will over time chop the larger more deliberate fighter down.

Rozenstruik -120

Total in this fight: 1.5Rds. Over -190

Marcin Tybura -160 vs. Walt Harris +145 Heavyweight co main event

If we’re not getting the UFC’s marquee fighters Saturday at least we’re going to be privy to watch four of the top eleven ranked heavyweight fighters play the elimination game.

In this one, eleventh ranked Polish striker Tybura enters on a roll. After suffering a KO at the hands of Augusto Sakai in 2019 Tybura has won four straight bouts over decent heavyweight competition. One note: in the heavyweight division there are four real viable contenders to champion N’Gannou, then another seven who are able to compete with those four, after that all remaining fighters are ‘capable’ though limited in ability.

Tybura is an effective striker with a blue belt in BJJ. He’s not necessarily powerful though his knees and kicks inflict damage and he uses them effectively. He’ll need to use movement and distance as Tybura fights at two hundred and fifty-five pounds and will be smaller than his opponent.

Walt Harris is the ninth ranked heavyweight. He enters this bout off two straight losses but those setbacks were to Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. Harris will be the taller man by a couple of inches and he’s a little unorthodox in that he’s a left-handed power striker.

Recent Harris competition is an important aspect to handicapping this bout for it is my estimation that the capability of the opponent’s he’s fought helps set him apart from his opponent in this bout.

Harris was a basketball player in college and has tremendous athleticism. He’s beaten most of the ‘capable’ heavyweights he has been in the octagon with and in my judgement Tybura’s threat is no greater than those Harris has already faced. With two straight losses, I expect Harris to be highly focused and motivated to remain in the organization so I expect a top effort from him.

Harris will be the larger man, the more profusely powerful man and the well more desperate man when the bell rings for this bout. He must press forward on Tybura and back the Polish fighter up by utilizing his athleticism/aggression to force a stand-up engagement. In the frantic striking exchange is where Harris is lethal and most dangerous.

This fight sets up to be a stand-up war and it’s Harris who I believe will have the speed, power and durability to bully Tybura and earn a much-needed victory.

No need to await weigh-ins with these big fellas!

Total for this fight: 1.5Rds. Over -170

Miguel Baeza -120 vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio +100 Welterweight (170lbs.)

The winner of this bout propels themselves into the top fifteen of the division.

Baeza is undefeated and will be the younger man with arm/leg reach advantage bolstered by the fact that he’s 2” the taller man. In a stand-up fight which this bout shapes up to be, these physical traits manifest into a superiority that must be factored into the fight.

Ponzinibbio enters this fight off a heartbreaking loss, one in which I believe was a bit unlucky. He’d won seven straight welterweight fights and was highly ranked in the division when he was forced to take a couple years off to heal, recover and restore his focus.

Upon his return to the octagon, he drew opponent Li Jingliang a fighter he was favored over as well a fighter that I handicap to be of lesser ability than Ponzi. Ponzi walked straight into a Sunday punch late in the first round and his momentum and hopes for a return to a top ten ranking in were dashed.

Ponzinibbio’s an extremely explosive and dynamic striker who’s also a black belt in BJJ. In Baeza he faces a talent not unlike Jingliang in that Ponzi will be forced to overcome the physical dynamics of his opponent.

That said, it’s Ponzi who has the wealth of experience as well he is the one smarting from that last loss. I look for Ponzinibbio to bounce off of the loss to Jingliang and I feel that in this fight he may just award the younger and potentially more dynamic Baeza his PhD. In MMA.

Baeza has a future in this division but he may be taking on Ponzinibbio, a grizzled veteran at the wrong time. Potential PhD. In MMA bout most definitely.

Lean Ponzinibbio +100 pending weigh-ins.

Total for this fight: 1.5Rds Over -155

Lean Over 1.5 but considering ‘fight goes to distance’ prop once it is released….

I see another three or four bouts worth investing in based on weigh-in results….

Enjoy the fights and Thank you for reading

--updated 6-5 7:15am PT--

Rozenstruik -120 vs. Sakai +105

Suriname vs. Brazil. Little to add. Rozenstruik via movement, conditioning and attrition.

Rozenstruik -120

Tybura -195 vs. Harris +160

Poland vs. USA. Harris needs to get to work early and hit the statuesque Tybura with power and ill intent. pass for now

Dolidze -145 vs. Starpoli +125

Russian Georgia faces Argentina in this dandy. Starpoli moving up in weight faces a vice grip of a fighter in Dolidze who is dropping weight from light heavyweight. Dolidze size and aggression are the difference in this bout. Dolidze opened -175 so -140 release yesterday spells advantage over the opening number.

Dolidze -145

Baeza -160 vs. Ponzinibbio +140

Puerto Rico vs. Argentina. Big test for Baeza but a career defining fight for Ponzinibbio. Ponzi's guile, experience and the realization that with a victory he returns to a top ten'ish ranking are the motivations.  With a loss however, every up and comer will want to step on the Ponzinibbio stone on thier way to that top ten.

Ponzinibbio +140

Fight goes to decision +150

Leavitt -210 vs. Puelles +185

USA vs. Peru. I believe the Peruvian has been toiling much harder and diligently than most believe. Covid and being a Peruvian with its restrictions during Covid complicated things while he was improving his game but he was grinding in anticipation of this day. Puelles does not regard himself as underdog in this spot and I believe his time at Sanford MMA will put him in position to surprise a few fight enthusiasts today. I just hope it’s not me. Lol

Puelles +185 ..patience as it’s rising

De La Rosa -260 vs. Lispki +230

USA vs. Brazil. In this one De La Rosa opened -160 which I thought may be a touch high as I view her skills/athleticism as limited but her heart as large as ….Montana. Lipski’s skills are best displayed on the ground and she’ll need this fight to get there in order for her to get her hand raised. De La Rosa early but she tires. Lipski late.

Lipski +230 half

Breese -260 vs. Arroyo +230

England vs. Brazil. This is the ‘frugazi’ fight of the night. Arroyo has no take down defense and no ground game but he is an unorthodox, aggressive striker…. wild and crazy yes. Breese surely has the MMA skills to dominate this fight but Arroyo knows he is fighting for his life in the organization and a ‘cra-zoid’ like him is the kind of fighter that can rattle the mentally fragile Englishman.

I’m not sure I’m ‘frugazi’ enough to take Arroyo here even for a half…. monitoring.

enjoy the fights

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


Stanley Cup Tournament:Ultimate Passion - 5/24/2021

*for NHL Stanley Cup Playoff releases please access the 'Hockey' tab at the top of this webpage.


UFC Vegas27 Font vs. Garbrandt: All's fair in 'No Love' and war - 5/22/2021

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC Vegas 27. A great slate of fights await us. This week I’ve reduced selections to normal investment outlay and by chance it appears most releases are all main event bouts.

I do have a heavy lean to Claudio Silva against Court McGee but do not want to bet against McGee because of what a great young person he has worked himself into.

Let’s Fight

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 5-19-21 Point Spread Weekl--

UFC 262 was a spectacular fight slate where underdog’s outnumbered favorites on the evening 6-5. To date in the UFC Favorites stand 93-54-5 or 64.4% which is similar to previous years in the UFC.

Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira had to go to deep water in the first round before he earned the Lightweight title in the second as a slight -125 favorite. Andre Muniz who closed +115 also won to add two net units of profit.

2021 Insight the Octagon: 12-8 +5.15u

This week we’re back at the UFC’s APEX Center in Las Vegas, NV. For UFC Vegas 27.

Rob Font -120 vs. Cody Garbrandt +100 Bantamweight (135lbs.) main event

This main event may lack marquee appeal to many MMA fans but the match-up will more than overcome in action what the fighters may lack in name recognition as both of these men are aggressive strikers.

Garbrandt is the fourth ranked fighter in the division and his assets are deft athleticism complimented by unusual quickness, speed and agility. Garbrandt also has power.  

He was a successful DII wrestler in college and trains at a gym that features almost exclusively wrestling based fighters yet he rarely employs any form of wrestling in his fights preferring to use his physical gifts to try to batter opponent’s unconscious with strikes.

Garbrandt’s obstacles as an elite fighter are impeded by his pension for recklessness in fights, the damage he has sustained in recent bouts and his absolute balsa wood beak. With such a solid wrestling base I wonder if it is pride or lack of awareness that explains why he does not rely at least to some extent on his wrestling.

Could this be the fight where Garbrandt actually uses his wrestling skill in conjunction with his striking to compete against a guy that is salivating to stand with him then touch him on the front teeth. 

Rob Font is a systematic forward pressing striker who possesses power in each hand. Font will be slightly taller and will hold a six-inch arm reach advantage over Garbrandt. In fights that remain standing fighters with at least 2” of reach advantage win 60% of the time. That number rises slightly as the reach advantage is greater.

Font, a Muay Thai striker with a brown belt in BJJ does not own the physical athleticism that Garbrandt does but he does have slick boxing skills, a power jab and effective striking/kicking, excellent strike defense and he enters this fight with tremendous momentum having won his last three bouts over ranked Bantamweight competition.

In this fight it’s my judgement Garbrandt must find a way to mix in some wrestling early then try to utilize movement with ‘in and out’ striking to try to tire the stalking striker Font. Garbrandt’s been a headliner in five round bouts prior while Font has not. This seems the logical approach though any wagering on Garbrandt run the risk that as soon as he taste’s a little leather he shuts down mentally and trades toe to toe.

Because he never/rarely uses his wrestling, it seems only a matter of time after the opening bell of this bout that Rob Font catches Garbrandt while they’re standing. The question then becomes how long will Garbrandt be able to refrain himself from engaging Font in the center of the cage?

Lean Font -120

Total in this fight: 2.5 Under -125

Yan Xaionan -110 vs. Carla Esparza -110 women’s strawweight co main event

Another three vs. four division matchup. Esparza’s the fourth ranked fighter in the division. She’s somewhat undersized and is a singularly dimensioned grappler/wrestler although over the course of the last several fights she’s shown more aptitude with her offensive/defensive striking.

Esparza if forced to compete against any of the top ranked women in her division solely in a stand-up fight would be at substantial disadvantage as her offense completely revolves around clasping onto then dragging opponents down to the mat.  

In this fight Esparza will have one purpose and that will be to take the larger, stronger striker to the floor, gain top position and test her ability to wrestle and absorb Esparza’s ground and pound.

Xaionan arrives from China the number three ranked strawweight. Though she will not have a reach advantage she’ll be the taller (4” advantage) larger lady in the octagon. Yan is versed in Chinese Sanda which is a striking specialty and she is decorated in BJJ though there is no degree or belt color provided. This tells me that Yan’s ground game is potentially suspect.

In previous fights we’ve not seen any Yan opponents take her to the floor so wrestling and take down defense become foundational aspects to this fight. How will Yan deal with the unrelenting forward pressure of a bona fide wrestling talent and how will Esparza earn inside position on an effective striker.

Yan is 6-0 in the UFC and her last three opponents far exceed in talent and capacity the fighters that Esparza has faced.

Yan opened -170 and there has been money on Esparza which I find surprising as Yan will be the far larger fighter in the cage, she’s two inches taller and employs volume striking/kicking complete with power and precision.

I believe this is a tough spot for Esparza and I see this bout looking much like her title bout against Joanna when she showed grit, heart and mettle but got destroyed by a much more capable striker with stout take down defense which is exactly what Yan is.

Yan -120

Total in this fight: 2.5 over -365

Jack Hermannson -155 vs. Edmen Shahbazyan +135 Middleweight (185lbs.)

Fascinating fight. Hermannson, 21-6 professionally is seventh ranked and thirty-two is arguably at the prime of his MMA career.

His striking is a bit choppy/unrefined but he’s large for the division with strong wrestling and a reputable submission attack.

Hermannson’s entering this fight off a loss to Marvin Vettori yet a closer look at that fight shows that Vettori stepped in to that bout on extremely short notice after Hermannson had been preparing for two other most competent, dangerous, tall, long strikers. Vettori happens to be a shorter more well-rounded attacker so I do give Hermannson a partial pass for that loss which may work now to his favor.

Off that loss Hermannson surely feels pressure/desperation to both get back in the win column and regain the solid footing of a top five ranking in the division which could be his with a victory. This is a huge fight for Hermannson’s career.

Shahbazyan is tenth ranked and a forward pressing striker who at twenty-three years of age is athletic, explosive and dangerous in any stand-up confrontation. He was all the hype until last August when he ran into Derrick Brunson and was awarded his PhD. in MMA by using a heavy wrestling attack.

In that bout, Shahbazyan was exposed on the ground and displayed a lack of conditioning early. Shahbazyan had absolutely no defense of Brunson’s pressure wrestling. The blueprint for how to defeat this young, inexperienced but dangerous striker was established then for the whole of the division to see.

It’s interesting that the UFC would now toss this kid who’s still a little green into a match with a world class wrestler/grappler immediately after such a loss.

Wrestling chops take year to acquire not months so I view this as a difficult fight for Shahbazyan.  

Hermannson’s single point of focus once the fight begins will be to engage on the feet only long enough to drag his young twenty-three-year-old opponent onto the floor then envelope him like a python and eventually choke the breath out of him.

If, however Shahbazyan can use his athleticism and keep this fight standing he’ll be the one with advantage. He must press Hermannson backwards and bully, brawl and batter him for Hermannson does not like to be physically manhandled.

Does Shahbazyan have the tools to be effective in this bout against a fighter at least as capable or more than the one he just was dominated by?

Hermannson -155 current…

He opened -185 so use patience to allow for more price advantage. He’ll be leg 1 of two fighter parlay. Second leg filled in an upcoming ‘Insight the Octagon’.

Total in this Fight: 1.5 -135

1.5 Rounds is very low so the ‘Makers are expecting Hermannson to sub Edmen early or they feel Shahbazyan finishes Hermannson which would be via strikes early.

Lean Over 1.5Rds -135

--updated 5-22 11:40am PT--

I released Caludio Silva +100 to Las Vegas Refveiw Journal fo ryesterday's column, my apologies for posting late. 

Claudio Silva +100

--updated 5-22 6:59am PT--

Font -120 vs. Garbrandt +100

This fight will tell us much about Garbrandt because if he comes out and mixes his game up like he’s capable of executing this fight can surely go his way. If Font is able to plaster him and stun him off of his plan as has occurred in many Garbrandt bouts, then this becomes a toe to toe and Garbrandt’s chances to win wane as I handicap this fight.

Surely someone at Team Alpha Male, A WRESTLING BASED FIGHT CAMP has to have advised Garbrandt to use his brain and mix up his approach in fights then remain on course. That manifests itself into a longer more grinding style of fight.

Font -120

Over 2.5 +115

Xaionan -120 vs. Esparza +100

In Xaionan I have the taller, larger, longer athlete whose forte’ is to maintain distance and batter opponents as they press forward to engage. In Esparza we have an unrelenting, forward pressing wrestling-based fighter.

I do not believe Esparza’s skills against this opponent in any way relate to the current price on this fight. The opening line of Xaionan -170 is more a depiction of how I handicap this fight.

Xaionan -120

Hermannson -140 vs. Shahbazyan +120

Shahbazyan will be aggressive early and attempt to bull rush Hermannson to force him backwards and beat him from head to toe. Hermannson must simply follow the blueprint to beating Shahbazyan laid out by Derrick Brunson and weather the first round then manipulate the singularly dimensioned Shahbazyan to the floor and smear his face all over the mat.

Hermannson -145 currently, opened -185 so I’ll take the reduction on a legitimate title challenger against a young man who is jumping from the frying pan right into the fire!

Hermannson -140

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC262 Oliveira vs. Chandler: 'Cucuy' for coco puffs - 5/15/2021

*Puckheads please access Puck Passion plays by hitting the 'Hockey' tab at the top of this page

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 262 Oliveira vs. Chandler. What a fight night we have in front of us.

First, I’d like to say how tickled I am to see the tsunami of people in Las Vegas. Las Vegas and its inhabitants have been as welcoming to me as have the folks in Phoenix over these last decades. Desert living is nothing to underestimate people provided you got your family and a ‘busload of faith’ to get by.

Atypical of most of my Saturday UFC offerings is that today there will be some six to eight wagers with capital outlay exceeding what is standard for most usual weeks. I do this today only because it’s my opinion that the card is offering opportunity that form of opportunity.

The ‘Insight the Octagon’ piece from this week’s VSiN magazine Point Spread Weekly is below with updated releases listed following.

Let’s Fight

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 5-12-21 Point Spread Weekly--

Saturday’s UFC 262 will be held in front of a packed arena in Houston’s Toyota Center. The fight card features a diverse set of athletes from every corner of the globe who arrive expertly trained in mixed martial arts. In fighter interviews this week many of the competitors voiced excitement to be fighting once again in front of fans.

Twelve bouts are scheduled as of this publication with early preliminary action beginning at 3:30pm PT.

Last week Marina Rodriguez controlled Michelle Waterson from bell to bell in a fight where the advantages were clearly on Rodriguez’ side based on her size and the fact that these women competed at 125lbs. Geoff Neal, my parlay position fared much worse however as he looked lethargic, sluggish and listless in his bout.

We have since discovered that Neal had to drop thirty-seven pounds in order to make weight for this bout. This is material information that would have contributed to my handicapping this fight as I would have never ventured Neal’s direction knowing this. He’d even hidden his health information from his team/camp which is not only unintelligent it’s dangerous.

Insight the Octagon 2021: 10-7 +3.15u off last week’s 1-1 break even result.

Charles Oliveira -125 vs. Michael Chandler +105 Lightweight (155lbs.) Championship

What’s most interesting about this fight is that it is the third ranked Oliveira facing fourth ranked Chandler as opposed to number one ranked Dustin Poirier facing second ranked Justin Gaethje.

Poirier chose to overlook a title bout with Gaethje in order to make the Conor McGregor trilogy payday which helps clarify why Oliveira is in the fight but how Chandler got in ahead of Justin Gaethje seems unjust.

Chandler arrives fresh off the drubbing of Dan Hooker in his UFC debut. What has not been publicized much is the extreme amount of quarantine etc. Hooker had to perform in order to make that bout. Further, his decision not to pressure Chandler and in fact retreat insured his doom for Chandler, if allowed to pressure and back opponents up is one tough fighter to beat.

Chandler’s basis is world class D1 college wrestling so he’s an unrelenting forward pressure fighter who over the course of his twenty-seven professional fights has learned how to compliment his wrestling with power striking as we witnessed against Hooker.

Chandler’s only UFC bout was Hooker as he was in the Bellator organization prior. As magnificent as Chandler looked in that bout, I believe there’s a healthy dose of recency flavoring this betting line based on that Hooker result. That said, Chandler’s pressure wrestling, his explosive athleticism and his natural striking power make him a serious threat especially early in this bout.

Oliveira enters the octagon Saturday the younger man by four years. He’s two inches taller than Chandler and will sport arm/leg reach advantages of three inches each. Oliveira’s fight foundation is his third-degree black belt in BJJ. Oliveira himself is most dangerous when pressing opponents backward and inflicting damage upon them.

Oliveira not only can compete with Chandler on the mat he can compete with anyone at 155lbs. there. Oliveira’s striking has improved drastically over the course of his career as well his ability to slip strikes and defend. The high level of world class opponents he’s faced force me to believe this fight will be one of the top competitions this year in the UFC.

Oliveira opened -150 and Chandler action has dropped the price to Oliveira -125 which in my view offers opportunity as I regard him more a favorite over Chandler than the opening line did.

In this championship fight Oliveira MUST navigate the first five minutes of the Chandler firestorm as Chandler’s finished opponents seventeen times in his career and of those thirteen were in the first round.

Provided Oliveira can compete into the second round and beyond I believe his confidence will grow as will his ability to walk Chandler backwards. In the later rounds Chandler’s effectiveness explosion and effectiveness wane and it’s late in the fight where Oliveira’s offensive diversity coupled with his physical size/length will begin to take over this bout.

One last note: Oliveira has lived in Houston since his arrival into the U.S. so support from the local crowd will be vigorous.

Oliveira -125

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds. Under -155

Lean Over +135Just a year ago

Beniel Dariush -170 vs. Tony Ferguson +150 Lightweight co main event

Ferguson, now thirty-seven years old was number one ranked, undefeated in his last twelve bouts and awaiting a showdown with Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, his drubbing at the hands of Justin Gaethje changed the course of his career dynamically.

As I’d predicted then Gaethje laid the hammer on Ferguson and beat him in comprehensive fashion until the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round but not before Gaethje had beaten the breaks and the last remaining fertile years of his career out of Ferguson.

Ferguson then took a fight against Charles Oliveira last December and was beaten soundly in a five-round decision. We’ve witnessed older athlete’s (Welterweight Tyron Woodley for one) fall off the cliff when it comes to the end of a fight career and with a loss Saturday, we may regard Ferguson in similar light.

Ferguson will show up to this bout desperate to regain his lost momentum. Factors in his favor include a slight height advantage with a four-inch reach advantage so it’s logical that Tony works to keep this fight standing for he was exposed on the ground in his last fight and in this one faces a fighter of similar ground capability in Dariush.  

Ferguson lands a whopping 5.5 significant strikes per minute but he often chooses to exchange too willingly as evidenced by the fact that he receives four significant strikes per minute in return. Ferguson’s fate will lie in his ability to keep this fight a striking battle.

Beniel Dariush has won four of his last six bouts via finish and he’s done that against top competition in the division. Dariush owns a black belt in Muay Thai and BJJ so he is dangerous anywhere a fight goes and can finish opponents via submission or strikes. Of his twenty wins thirteen have been via finish.

This fight may come down to Dariush’s ability to execute the Oliveira plan and drag Ferguson to the floor for a flogging so a key factor will be Dariush’s pedestrian take down effectiveness (32%) against Ferguson’s take down defense (70%).

In the end I believe the Dariush youth and momentum work in his favor yet I have a difficult time believing that he’ll be able to manage Ferguson to the floor and for that reason I’ll choose to pass on this co main event for now.

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds. Over -170

Jacare’ Souza -120 vs. Andre Muniz +100 Middleweight (185lbs.)

Brazilian Jacare’ Souza was one of the most efficient submission specialists of his era but he’s now forty-one years old and a shell of his former fighting self.

Whether it be Cowboy Cerrone, Daniel Cormier, Stipe Miocic, Tyron Woodley or in this case Souza, examples in the fight game of fighters unable to understand when their game is gone riddles the landscape and has since hand-to-hand competition began.

There are very few Rocky Marciano’s or Khabib Nurmagomedov’s out there which is a crying shame for it is my judgement that Souza is going to get waxed in this match-up.

Jacare’s still capable on the mat but standing he is a plodding, deliberate, telegraphing striker who is unable to evade strike nor throw with any quickness, velocity or pop.

In this fight Jacare’ must sell out to engage his countryman Muniz inside the pocket and in close quarters to clasp, clinch and drag him to the floor if he is to have any chance at competing in this bout. From the floor it’s possible Jacare’ can use intelligence and guile to even the playing field with his opponent.

Muniz is ten years the younger combatant, he’s a southpaw who’s an inch taller than Jacare’. He’ll own a 6” reach advantage with arms, 2” advantage with his legs and he's 2-0 in the UFC and 6-0 in his last six fights.

Muniz will want to manage distance and keep the singular dimensioned Souza on the outside where kicks, strikes and elbows are most effective. Should Jacare’ manage to get this fight to the floor the larger, younger, BJJ black belt Muniz should be able to compete with the wily grizzled veteran long enough to get the fight back standing where Muniz’s physicality will be on display.

Needless to say, a Jacare’ pelt on his mantle would be a dynamic accomplishment for Muniz and he’s motivated to advance his career with a win of any form over a legend in Jacare’ Souza Saturday night.  

Muniz +100

Total for this fight: 2.5Rds. Over -110

Enjoy the fights and Thank You for reading

--updated 5-15-21 7:49am PT--

Oliveira- 130 vs. Chandler +110

Little to add here. It is now time to watch, learn and enjoy. Fight Enthusiasts, when I was your age, we got two to four of these type marquee fights per year maybe with the slime that is now boxing. Now we get up to 15 bouts some 44 +/- weeks per year. Thankful.

Oliveira -125

Over 2.5 +160

released earlier this week

Dariush -155 vs. Ferguson +135

The Dariush demeanor all week coupled with his tussle with the triple beam makes me believe that Ferguson just may got out and slather Dariush with strikes. If Dariush uses pride and decides to ‘go crazy like Tony’ as he has stated, he may get knocked out. I’ll be patient with this one and see if Tony’s price ascends and will update the site accordingly.

Ferguson +135 or better

Chookagain -130 vs. Araujo +115

In almost each release today we’re siding with the more seasoned, experienced and youthful fighter in the matchup. No difference here.

Chookagain via decision +105

Burgos -140 vs. Barboza +130

Fire. It’s my belief that Barboza’s natural power does not transfer to Featherweight nor does his cardio and chin at this stage of his career. Burgos packs power and plenty of crazy.

Burgos -140

Schnell -160 vs. Bontorin +145

I really liked Schnell here but my respected associate Matthew Holt had released Bontorin on the ESPN ‘Behind the Bets’ podcast this week hosted by Doug Kezirian so I decided to sidestep that favorite. That is until I viewed the weigh-ins where Bontorin missed the limit by a pound after legitimately trying to make the weight. I will give the kid that. A least he was not blatantly cheating like Ferreira did last week. In any case, Schnell who is a local Houston fighter seems poised to pounce on a compromised Bontorin.

Schell -155

Souza -130 vs. Muniz +115

Fading all reptiles.

Muniz +115

Grundy -120 vs. Vannata +100

Grundy’s the younger wrestling based natural 145’er. Vannata’s history has been one of inconsistency at the lightweight level and he drops to featherweight this late in his career which is a move many encouraged him to do years ago. I think Grundy’s poised to grind on a guy with little ground skill for fifteen minutes here.

Grundy opened -175 now he’s -120?

Grundy -120

Shevchenko -120 vs. Lee +100

Shevchenko -190 at opening bell is currently -120. My first impression was that Lee would be desperate and focused to win a bout against anyone in the division. However, the UFC gave her a larger lefty with an arguable stand-up advantage. Lee must get this fight to the floor or she may fall to 0-4 in her last four and 2-6 in the UFC.

Monitoring


UFC Vegas26 Rodriguez vs. Waterson: Cowboy Ciao - 5/8/2021

This UFC Vegas 26 card’s been shuffled, re arranged and has overcome the loss of a couple fights late week yet the remainder of the slate has compelling bouts and a handful of fights I feel offer advantage.

As usual the ‘Insight the Octagon’ article for VSiN’s Point Spread Weekly magazine is below with my updated comments from this morning following.

Let’s Fight

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 5-5-21 Point Spread Weekly—

The Apex in Las Vegas hosts this week’s UFC Fight Night while next week’s UFC 262 is set to take place in front of a raucous crowd at T-Mobile Arena. Slowly things are returning to normal in the UFC, Nevada and the world, it’s exciting to anticipate viewing events that will be open to public attendance.

I speak often about working to uncover opportunity in a bout where the athlete I prefer is primed to arrive to the octagon on the night of the event and present their absolute best effort in attempting to get their hand raised.

Going into last week’s fight Dom Reyes fit that description perfectly. It turns out that Reyes in fact fought a fight that would have toppled any light heavyweight in the UFC that evening except for Jiri Prochazka. Reyes earns my respect for he displayed heart, grit, guts and mettle throughout the nine minutes of complete beat down he endured at the hands, feet, knees and elbows of Prochazka.

Handicapping Reyes to fight his best fight last Saturday was successful. Handicapping his best effort against the effort of Jiri Prochazka was not.

Insight the octagon 2021: 9-7 +3.15u

Marina Rodriguez -175 vs. Michelle Waterson +155 Woman’s Flyweight (125lbs) main event

This fight card’s main event was originally Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw. That fight got postponed because of Dillashaw injury leaving this relatively uninspiring fight slate without a main event headliner or a co main event bout until this past Monday.

On very short notice in step Rodriguez and Waterson for a most obscure, unusual matchup that makes little sense other than the UFC was simply out of time/options for a headline fight for this production.

Rodriguez seventh ranked in the Strawweight division (115lbs.) is a tall, gangly, long Muay Thai trained striker. She’s also a blue belt in BJJ and should benefit immensely by only having to cut weight to 125lbs. for this fight.

Waterson, who is a black belt in Karate as well versed in BJJ is really an Atomweight (105lbs.) fighter by physique and statue but the UFC does not feature that division so the feisty ‘Karate Hottie’ competes with slightly larger women in the Strawweight division.

Waterson will be forced to compete against a fighter who at 125lbs. will be physically imposing which is a discernable advantage for Rodriguez.

That this fight was not finalized until Monday forces hesitation to pull the trigger on Rodriguez now as I believe she may have only recently left to get here for this event. Travel from Brazil to the US under normal circumstances requires more time than a few days to prepare physically for a bout let alone in this Covid strained environment.

Provided Rodriguez breezes through the weigh-ins without issue Friday morning and looks fully prepared to compete then my judgement is that Waterson’s only real path to victory will be to discover a way to force Rodriguez into a long arduous fight. Waterson must hope that her vast experience in main events provides the edge she needs to earn a decision but I’m stretching just to say that.

Rodriguez seems very well positioned for a workmanlike and one-sided win Saturday but weigh-ins must transpire before making any monetary commitment.

Total for this fight: 4.5Rds. Over -250

Goeff Neal -185 vs. Neil Magny +165 Welterweight 170lbs.

Magny’s ninth ranked in the division. At 6’3” and sporting an 80” reach this is one tough fighter to navigate. Magny is at his best when using space and distance while on the feet to accrue points through volume.

Avoiding the ground game from my handicapping seems mandatory for Magny. Once taken to the mat his lack of effective wrestling/grappling exposes him despite his blue belt in BJJ and more importantly, his belief that he is a capable enough grappler to compete with the top ten of this division which he is NOT.

Magny’s results have been uneven over the last several fights. One theme that is apparent is that when he earns the opportunity to step into competition with the elite of the division he falters as evidenced by his last fight against Michael Chiesa.

In this bout, Magny’s plan was to try to compete with Chiesa at the grapplers strength and the result was a very one-sided loss for Magny who never really opted to keep the fight standing and at distance nor was he ever really able to compete while the two were rolling on the mat. 

Neal enters this fight tenth ranked in the division and off a loss to Steven Thompson who in my humble opinion is THE threat to current champion Kamaru Usman in the Welterweight division.

What must be mentioned is that Neal had recently recovered from a life-threatening illness prior to that Thompson fight. Further, he was forced to compete in that scrap without his coach, cornerman and mentor Sayif Saud in his corner! 

Neal is a blue belt in BJJ so he’s quite capable to going to the floor for a grope and while the southpaw gives up height and reach to Magny he is by far the more compact, explosive, powerful striker of the two.

Should Magny decide to compete with Neal at Neal’s forte’ which is standing then Magny will display the same lack of fight IQ he did trying to out-grapple Chiesa!

On the feet Magny better be fleet afoot, constantly moving and maintaining distance from the stronger more physical forward pressing power striker or risk being battered over time.

This is a three-round bout in the smaller quainter confines of the APEX octagon which means that Magny will have less room to move, maneuver and evade while Neal should find engagement much easier to initiate and maintain.

I look at these fighters as going in separate career directions honestly. Magny’s now a formidable barometer to the elite in the division and Neal makes a pronouncement to all Welterweights that he belongs in the division’s elite with a win.

Neal -185

Leg one of a two fighter parlay the second leg of which will be filled in an upcoming column should Neal win.

Total in this fight: 2.5 over -140

Gregor Gillespie -165 vs. Diego Ferreira +145 Lightweight (155lbs.)

This fight will be as compelling as Neal vs. Magny.

Fourteenth ranked Gillespie is coming off of the wrong end of a highlight reel head kick KO at the hands of Kevin Lee in November of 2019. Gillespie has an elite NCAA D1 wrestling background coupled with a blue belt in BJJ.

Gillespie fights like most wrestlers by using unrelenting forward pressure to earn his way into the pocket then clasp onto the opponent. From the clinch it’s either a maul against the cage before being flung to the floor or just a judo trip to grind and grapple on the ground.

Gillespie, especially after his last outcome will surely come out with NO intention of having this fight play out of the feet for any real amount of time as he’s aware that striking and strike defense are his least effective facets of fighting while being his opponents most fluent.

Twelfth ranked Ferreira enters this contest having won his last six before dropping his last outing against Beniel Dariush in a razor close decision. Ferreira was away from the UFC for some time but once he returned, he displayed a focus, fierceness and frenetic pace that has elevated him into this top ten show down.

Ferreira will sport certain advantage on the feet and while he’s a world class grappler at thirty-six Ferreira’s one chink in the fight armor may be his propensity to tire late in fights.

Gillespie will rely on that world class wrestling foundation to get this bout to the mat and earn top position on Ferreira and maul him as well force him to use energy trying to escape.

If/when this fight does hit the floor Ferreira’s size as well his third-degree black belt may help him overcome Gillespie’s wrestling early on but Ferreira does not want to compete on the floor long term just as Gillespie must avoid standing with Ferreira. 

Angelo Dundee would call this the “Styles make Fights” bout of the night!

I believe Ferreira is a live underdog here based on the fact that Gillespie has been away and returns off such a devastating loss but I’ll be patient until later in the week to commit to this fight.

Total for this fight: 2.5Rds Over -190

Enjoy the fights and thank You for reading

--updated 5-8-21 8:29am PT--

Rodriguez -210 vs. Waterson +185

Rodriguez landed in Vegas Wednesday then quarantined prior to weighing in Friday. Reports indicate that she looks prepared and healthy after making weight efficiently Friday. It’s my opinion that Rodriguez’s size will prevent Waterson from effectively executing takedowns especially early in the fight.

Should this fight remain on the feet as I expect then Rodriguez’s length, size and reach will provide her advantage.  Rodriguez challenges are that she’ll have to navigate a full five rounds against a fighter steeped in experience. Rodriguez must be somewhat measured early and not dump too much energy in the opening minutes.

Rodriguez -210 leg one parlay

Cerrone -200 vs. Morono +175

Cerrone swan song?

Morono is long on determination, forward pressure and grit. I believe Moron’s best path to victory is to rock the Cowboy early for his chances of wining any form of close decision may be impeded by Cerrone’s popularity and the fact that this may be his walk off fight.

Morono +175 .75u

With a .25 whisp of a wager on Moreno ITD +400

Neal -190 vs. Magny +165

This is the fight of the night as far as I am concerned. Both men will be challenged and both men will need to rely on their strength in order to win. I believe Neal will ultimately be able to bully, control and back Magny up in a fight that will legitimize Neal as a top seven Welterweight talent and Magny as a gatekeeper to the division. 

Parlay

 Rodriguez -210/Neal -190 +1.25

Gillespie -160 vs. Ferreira +140

Ferreira +160 was a release I made mid-week. He missed weight badly yesterday which tells me he’s either cheating for advantage against a determined wrestler he knows he’ll need a size advantage over or he’s injured and was unable to undertake sufficient cardio prep for this bout. Whether Ferreira made the weight or not the fight shapes up like this.

The longer it goes the more it will favor Gillespie. Ferreira needs to touch the incoming, unrelenting wrestler early and discourage him from shooting. If this fight can stay standing for a couple of rounds Ferreira could be in advantageous position. If it gets to the floor Ferreira can compete but he must not allow Gillespie to gain top position under any circumstance.

Ferreira +140 currently

De Lima -195 vs. Greene +175

This is the ‘barf bag’ bet of the year.

Greene is so limited in athleticism and MMA talent but he’s got a huge heart and I know he’s prepared to give me 110% of whatever it is he’s got in this bout. The guy moved his family to Albuquerque to seriously train and focus in order to compete in the UFC. He lost his last fight to Greg Hardy so he and I both know he’s fighting for his career here.

De Lima is an ex 205 lb. fighter who is a black belt in BJJ. He also weighed in at 264.5 for this bout. I believe de Lima’s got a full five minutes of gas to try to submit the ‘crochet boss’ before he runs out of juice.

Greene’s advantages; heart, grit, and determination are all intangible but they’ll be on display provided he can survive the first round then expose de Lima’s lack of conditioning.

Greene +175


UFC Vegas25 Reyes vs. Prochazka: Gut Czech - 5/1/2021

UFC Vegas 25 loses a fight but in this instance I am all for the decision made by Jonathan Pearce to turn away his grossly cheating opponent by cancelling the bout.

Look, if Benitez strained his ass off to make weight, showed up gaunt and somewhat overweight five minutes before weigh-ins end that’s one thing. However, this unprofessional saunters out to the scale some thirty minutes after the weigh-ins commence and weighs in 4.5lbs over! Benitez was cheating and Pearce did the most difficult thing a young, starving, fighter who needs income could do…..listen to his team and walk. Well done Jonathan Pearce and as far as that journeyman Benitez is concerned….he’ll have to get back to 155lbs. where he’ll continue to get the cheat beat out his arse.

This week's slate is thin as far as my investments today. Three releases and a lean. Let’s rake a few dollars and move forward into May.

One Note: If you are NHL Playoff fans then I’d respectfully request you follow me each and every year as the NHL Playoffs are a passion of mine like the UFC.

You readers know the drill. Below is my Wednesday Insight the Octagon article which appeared on VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ magazine. Following it, I’ll list today’s final set of wagers with comments.

Enjoy the day.

Let’s Fight

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 4-28-21 Point Spread Weekly—

Last week’s UFC 261 from Jacksonville, FL. was a fight card that featured three championship fights each of which ended via finish much to the delight of the capacity crowd at Vystar Veterans Arena. 

This week we return to Las Vegas where Light Heavyweight contenders will do battle at the UFC’s APEX center. The small cage will encourage confrontation between these two sizable sluggers as well the other three bouts that feature Middleweight (185lbs.) and light heavyweight combatants.

Last week Rose Namajunas used a stealth front kick to the head of Weili Zhang which ended the night early for the now former Champion. Namajunas, again Strawweight Champion is a fluid moving gifted mixed martial artist who used her length, quickness and agility to finish the former Champion in one round.

I look forward to another meeting between these two where the opportunity to review new pricing in a rematch will be of interest as I believe that line may look a little different next time. 

Insight the Octagon 2021: 9-6 +4.15u

Jiri Prochazka -135 vs. Dom Reyes +115 Light Heavyweight (205lbs.) main event

Fifth ranked Prochazka is a relative newcomer to the division’s top ten let alone the division itself. At twenty-eight years old the Czech fighter will be shorter by a touch but will hold a three-inch reach advantage.

Prochazka’s fighting base is Muay Thai which means he is a striker/kicker with active elbows and knees. Prochazka, 1-0 in the UFC is not a refined striker but he is an aggressive profusely powerful one who has been past round one just twice in his last nine bouts.

Prochazka relies on his size, forward pressure and profuse power to bludgeon opponents and force them into a toe-to-toe throwdown, to date he’s had success with that simple approach.

Prochazka’s shortcomings entering this bout are his lack of UFC experience, the capability of his previous opponents faced other than Oezdimer and finally the fact that he travels to the US for his first event outside Europe.

Dom Reyes enters this bout a man who fought and came razor close to besting Champion Jon Jones two fights back. In his last outing for the light heavyweight title, he faced Jan Blachowicz and while Jan earned that finish fairly it was surely the poorest performance of Reyes career.

Was that Blachowicz taking Reyes out of his game? For certain but I also believe Reyes was a little intoxicated with himself after reading reminiscing about his success against Jones as opposed to what he needed to accomplish with the task at hand which was Blachowicz.

Reyes, a southpaw is an inch taller than Prochazka but will give up three inches in reach. He’s a deft, athletic striker with a blue belt in BJJ which may come in handy should he have the opportunity to drag Prochaska to the floor to tire the monster out and sap him of his will.

When I review the body of work for each fighter what stands out is that Reyes is the fighter who has faced a more competent level of opponent, while possessing much more octagon experience.

Although Prochazka dominated Volkan Oezdemir in his debut, it takes more than one supreme outcome to claim legitimate top five status in the UFC’s light heavyweight division from my perspective.

Reyes enters this fight desperate to return to number one contender status and make amends for his last outing which he readily admits was unsatisfactory. Reyes will be truly challenged and tested here which will tell us all whether he is a legitimate top five talent in the division or not. 

Reyes’ must use his complete skillset to navigate this bout into the late second round and beyond in order to tax the singularly dimensioned knock out artist and force him to expend energy. From that point Reyes may be in a great position to tee off on a guy that may be in line for a PhD. Im MMA.

Reyes +115

Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -155

Lean Over as it’s my opinion the Reyes and the over are correlated.

Chikadze -155 vs. Swanson +13 Featherweight (145lbs.) co main event

Two unranked fighters who with a victory have a real opportunity to break into the top fifteen of the division.

Chicadze is the taller, younger, longer man. His speed, movement and precision striking will be accentuated as he strives to keep his opponent at distance and on the end of his volume striking. He’s not overly dangerous or powerful but he is a volume fighter and over time he does have the ability to finish.

Swanson at thirty-seven has won his last two bouts after losing four straight fights. His knockout of Daniel Pineda in December of last year looms important because Swanson was coming off an ACL prior to the bout.

Versed in BJJ and with a competent stand-up game Swanson will need to earn his way inside Chicadze in order to negate his length and soften Chicadze up with dirty boxing and inside body work. Should this fight fall to the floor Swanson will hold advantage.

Swanson is long on grit, mettle, experience and guile and is the more mature, experienced fighter but he is thirty-seven and fighting a man who holds physical advantages as well as speed/quickness ones. This is a well-matched fight.

Monitoring.

Total for this fight: 2.5 Over -200

Dvalishvili -240 vs. Stamman +200Bantamweight (135lbs.)

Here’s about featuring two solid wrestling-based fighters who will each attempt to go out and sap the strength, will and energy from the other. These fighters are about the same size though Dvalishvili will own arm and leg reach advantages the real difference in this fight is to be found in each man’s footwork.

Stamman being a sturdy wrestler has little fluidity of movement when standing while Dvalishvili more resembles the Tasmanian devil as he moves frantically but with quickness, purpose and unrelenting cardio. Dvalishvili will win this bout using constant in and out movement, superior cardio and wrestling. 

I’ll look to props later this week with regard to releases on this bout.

Total for this fight: 2.5 Over -280

--updated 5-1-21 6:53am PT--

Prochazka -120 vs. Reyes +110

This main event is compelling. Can the Czech howitzer destroy yet another ranked light heavyweight or does the experience, desperation and fear of falling out of light heavyweight contention propel Reyes into awarding Prochazka his PhD. In MMA?

Reyes +115

as released earlier this week....+100 or better is fine

Chikadze -175 vs. Swanson +155

It’s my handicap that Swanson and Chikadze should be lined much tighter than current pricing. Opportunity comes in the form of a thirty-seven year old Cub?

Swanson +155

Dvalishvili -250 vs. Stamman +210

Like the pricing on the fight above I just don’t feel Merab is this kind of a sturdy chalk over a kid in Stamman that has similar skills, cardio , wrestling and owns advantage standing. We’ll grab the mangy unwanted mutt here but that doe s not mean I am not a Dvalishvili fan. I’m just not a fan of any wagering opportunity that involves inflated pricing.

Stamman +210 .5u

Stamman via decision +410 .5u